We had the good fortune of connecting with Bronwyn LeAnne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bronwyn, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Creating a healthy work/life balance has always been my biggest struggle. When I first started painting I did not have any children or important responsibilities so I could just drop everything and pick up a paint brush at any time. Now that I have two children and I am a full time student studying Art History balancing, or as I like to call it (my juggling act) has changed dramatically. I think about balance all the time because it is crucial to my work as an Artist and for my family. Sometimes life gets crazy busy and I have to put my children or school first and that means ignoring a piece I am working on for hours, days, weeks, even months. I felt horrible and realized this was not only affecting my work but my soul. Art is such a passion of mine that I NEED it in my life. In order to create the best balance I started to schedule myself times during the day that I would paint and ONLY paint. Keeping a good schedule and blocking out time for yourself in any aspect is super important, not only your business but for your well being. Self care and balance in life are two of the most important things.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My art has always been an expression of my current feeling, mood, desires, or any other emotion that is so strong at the moment that it needs to pour out of me. I never plan my art, I can’t actually. If I try to sit and force myself to paint something when I don’t feel it, nothing comes out. It is more of a mood for me. I will literally be in the middle of something and have to stop to go paint, which is not easy with two children and school to be done. My art is very abstract and I use different media depending on the piece and story I am trying to tell. I do paint a lot on canvas but my favorite is to paint on wood. I like to find broken tables or furniture and use that as my canvas. My favorite piece “gemini birds” I painted on a 6 foot tall table top that I found in an alley and put on top of my head to carry home. Luckily it was not too heavy. That piece is the one I am most proud of and it got ruined in storage and I have yet to try to recreate it. I think me just being me is what sets me apart from others as both a person and an artist. I am a very unique personality and I believe that shows in my work as well. I tend to be the type of person or artist that you either love or you dislike. I got to where I am today professionally because I finally decided to start taking risks and putting myself out there. I used to compare myself to others a lot and I was always scared to do art shows or post my work on social media. I decided this year that I would no longer allow that fear to control me and I created my social media platforms, websites, signed up for markets, started creating friendships and relationships with galleries, and more. It was FAR from easy and it is still hard. I have to really put the time into marketing myself and that is something that does not come naturally for me. I am sort of a homebody that is an introvert although my art is pretty loud and outgoing. I have to make sure I schedule myself marketing time each week and stick to it in order to be successful. I have learned so many lessons along the way but the biggest one I have learned is how to deal with rejection. I have been told no so many times and as much as it hurt at first, I did not allow it to stop me. I learned that the only way you fail is if you give up. I would love for the world to know that my art is not just work to me. I am a girl who grew up in Louisiana always feeling like she couldn’t breathe or be herself. I was bullied, torn down, and struggled a lot growing up. It took me a long time to find the woman I am today and to truly be myself. My work started out as a form of therapy for me but turned into such a beautifully deep passion. I love to share my emotions and soul in my work. Anyone who owns a piece of my work owns a piece of me. I also have a very big love of animals and I am a big supporter of domestic violence victims. I lost my best friend to domestic violence in 2012. I take a portion of all of my sales and put it aside and donate it to different sanctuaries and domestic violence causes. Also, I love all of you!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well I live in Oceanside and we have so many amazing places to see but I have to admit if I were to take someone places, I would visit all over San Diego. First stop would have to be Jitters Coffee in Oceanside. The BEST! I would take them to Little Italy to see the amazing art galleries (although my favorite gallery is Quint in La Jolla), eat at Civico 1845 (has an amazing vegan menu, yep.. I am vegan). Visit Blick art supply, maybe go set up at Balboa park and do some painting. I would also stop by all the amazing farmers markets, especially the Thursday morning market in Oceanside. We would have lunch at my favorite spot Eris Foods in Oceanside. The food there is just perfect. Go take a beautiful walk through the meditation gardens in Encinitas. Participate in Yoga at Carlsbad Yoga, grab a smoothie at Choice Juicery! I don’t drink so grabbing a drink would most likely not happen and my idea of hanging out is usually hiking, at a park, somewhere in nature which San Diego has this everywhere. I am not big on commercial areas or tourist places. I would want my friend to see the real San Diego, visit local shops and introduce them to the community. I know in Oceanside our community means a lot to us and it is family.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Number one for me is my family. I know a lot of people just name their parents and as much as I have to give them 100% credit, it consists of so much more than that. My brothers and sisters are all much older than me and growing up they really fueled and supported my crazy, creative, out of the box personality. Everyone has always encouraged my artistic side and no one ever tried to make me be anything else. We come from a big family of creative people which I value so much. I grew up in a conservative state so being different was not always easy and I would turn to art to escape. My favorite artist Lee Krasner was a big influence for me as well growing up. I always loved her work so much. Of course my little family now that I have created deserves so much love and appreciation for the support they give me every day. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children that are my world. I am going to have to give a special shoutout to my daughter, Aria. This girl is the most talented, creative person naturally (even more so than myself) and she is the most supportive of my work and me and there is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t tell me. When I finish a painting she yells and says how proud she is of me. She probably doesn’t realize how much she inspires me but hopefully one day she does.